Paleowave

iMonsoon Climatology

Monthly climatology of precipitation and sea-surface salinity over the Indian Ocean sector.

Monthly climatology of precipitation and sea-surface salinity over the Indian Ocean sector.

Here is a gif (click here for full version) of rainfall over the Indian subcontinent and concurrent sea-surface salinity (SSS) in the Indian Ocean with the targeted sites for Expedition 353 (red circles). The precipitation data are in mm of rainfall per day and the SSS data are displayed in practical salinity units. Each frame displays average monthly data for 55 years from 1958-2013 (i.e. averaging all January data, all February data etc.) There are many things of interest that pop out for me in this animation. Some points of note:

  • The peak of monsoon rain over India is during the months of June, July, and August, or during Northern Hemisphere (boreal) summer.
  • There is a well formed band of rainfall over the southern Indian Ocean during boreal winter.
  • A freshwater pulse (< 30 PSU) close to the eastern coast of India can be observed a month or two after the JJA monsoon peak.
  • During the monsoon, the Bay of Bengal (along with the subcontinent) experiences abundant rainfall.
  • The Arabian Sea is much saltier than the Bay of Bengal.
  • All of the targeted expedition sites display heterogeneity in their seasonality.
  • Many Indian Ocean islands fall prey to poor coastal resolution data (oops!)

What pops out for you? Drop a line in the comments if you'd like details about the methodology.

A Day in the Life

Looking outside the sedimentologists' window. This was on a particularly rocky day!

Looking outside the sedimentologists' window. This was on a particularly rocky day!

I could really do with some fresh cow's milk...

I could really do with some fresh cow's milk...

  • 09:45 – Alarm rings; Hit snooze.
  • 10:00 – Slowly climb down from bunk bed.
  • 10:10 – Brush/shower/shave. Leave laundry bag outside.
  • 10:30 – Breakfast: All bran cereal and Gossner Whole Milk. Grab a quick cup of Ahmed Tea (‘England’s Finest’)
  • 11:00 – Head to the core lab for a quick update from the night-shift sedimentologists.
  • 11:30 – Catch some sunlight outside.
  • 11:45 – ‘Official’ crossover meeting with the night-shift scientists.
  • 12:00 – Shift begins; Start describing mud.
  • 12:15 – Periodically bug our smear-slide person for lithology estimates.
  • 12:45 – Annoy the biostratigraphers about the latest age estimate.
  • 13:00 – Enter descriptions into database software DESCLogik.
  • 13:05 – DESCLogik woes.
  • 13:10 – DESCLogik works!
  • 13:15 – DESCLogik hangs.
  • 13:20 – Gripe about DESCLogik-induced rollercoaster of emotions.
  • 13:30 – Resume logging mud on tracks and describe sediments.
  • 14:00 – Another cup of tea.
  • 14:10 – More mud!! And interesting sediments!
  • 14:30 – “Oh look, a nodule!”
  • 15:00 – Down to the Galley for a cookie break. And yet another cup of tea.
  • 15:30 – Make a decision about music preferences for the afternoon.
  • 16:00 - Annoy the biostratigraphers. For ages and for amusement.
  • 16:30 – “Core on deck!” More DESCLogik fun.
  • 16:45 – Joke around with paleomagnetism and physical properties’ scientists. Also get updates/data.
  • 17:00 – Lunchtime: Vegetarian meal of the day and Pocari Sweat for refreshment.
  • 17:30 – Back to the mud!
  • 18:00 – More aggressive music to avert drowsiness.
  • 18:30 – Go outside on the bridge deck to catch the sunset.
A gorgeous sunset in the Mahanadi Basin.

A gorgeous sunset in the Mahanadi Basin.

  • 18:31 – Gawk at the sunset and the ocean and congratulate yourself on choice of profession.
  • 18:45 – Reluctantly go back inside.
  • 18:46 – More cores? Wow.
  • 19:00 – DESCLogik apathy.
  • 20:00 – Try not to look at the clock.
  • 21:00 – Last cup of tea and cookie break.
  • 21:30 – Frantic DESCLogik cleanup prior to crossover.
  • 22:00 – More mud…
  • 22:30 – Gather thoughts and data for crossover meeting.
  • 22:45 – “Oh look an anomaly!”
  • 23:00 – “That’s really interesting!”
  • 23:30 – Head down to Galley to order and store a meal.
  • 23:45 – ‘Official’ crossover meeting with the night-shift scientists. Our turn to present this time.
  • 00:00 – Satisfied with the amount of science for the day.
  • 00:10 – Get off shift! Yay!
  • 00:11 – Run down to the room to throw on some gym clothes.
  • 00:14 – Head to the movie room for “INSANITY” workout session.
  • 00:50 – Regain self-respect and composure after workout.
  • 01:30 – Dinner: Beans, rice, boiled vegetables, and one boiled egg with pepper. More Pocari Sweat.
  • 02:00 – Actual free time! (Catch a movie/show, depending on level of fatigue)
  • 02:45 – Sleep!

iMonsoon Playlist

It's been about 15 days since my last blog post and we have already finished drilling five different holes at two different sites, despite downtime. We've seen a lot of core! As I may have mentioned, I'm on the PM-to-AM shift, so I get off my shift at midnight. Though we (lightly) listen to music during our shift, most of my music listening happens off my shift; either in the gym or on the deck (outside). Here's a (mostly complete) list of albums I've been listening to thus far:

  • Mastodon - Once More Round the Sun (most played by far! Which was JUST now promptly deleted thanks to Spotify Offline lasting only for 30 days! #%@&*@#*)
  • Godflesh - A World Lit Only by Fire
  • Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
  • Electric Wizard - Time To Die
  • Devin Townsend Band - Accelerated Evolution
  • Aphex Twin - Syro
  • The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
  • Crustation - Bloom
  • Bethlehem - Dark Metal
  • Three Mile Pilot - Another Desert, Another Sea
  • Isis - Oceanic
  • Pelican - Australasia
  • The Jesus Lizard - Goat
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In
  • Polvo - Exploded Drawing
  • Nitroseed - Molt
  • Anathema - A Fine Day to Exit
  • Miles Davis - A Kind of Blue
  • Built To Spill - Keep it like a Secret
  • Samael - Passage
  • The Obsessed - Lunar Womb
  • Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
  • Nightingale - I